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Mouse Bird Snake Wolf

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An award-winning British team conjures a haunting graphic novella that shows what happens when the complacent gods stop creating things and children pick up the slack. David Almond was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1951 and grew up in the small mining town of Felling.

Almond’s words and McKean’s artwork blend brilliantly to create a book that is like no other, the words and illustrations seem to dance with one another on the page, they have a fluidity about them that is enchanting, guiding the reader deeper within the story and giving Mouse Bird Snake Wolf its phenomenal power and in my opinion makes this a truly captivating and beautiful read. From the stunning cover art hinted at by the faux-die-cut jacket to a last glimpse of the louche and negligent gods and the wolf lurking in the darkness deep underground, a fascinating, provocative collaboration.

A powerful and thought-provoking text, illustrated in graphic novel-style, which will enable children to explore the beauty and dangers of nature as well as the importance of boundaries and self-restraint. David Almond is the winner of the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Award, the most prestigious award in international children's literature.

The final picture within this graphic novel for me sums up my thoughts about the meaning of the book – lurking in the darkness we see two red eyes staring up at the world the Gods created, waiting for its time to surface…again! It was awarded a Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Silver Award) and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal (2000) and for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. His work incorporates drawing, painting, photography, collage, found objects, digital art and sculpture. He is an experienced creative writing teacher and has worked for the Arvon Foundation and for schools, colleges and universities and is in demand as a speaker at festivals and conferences around the world. It's a short story but the characters are fully formed through the combination of concise writing and gorgeous scenery, and the whole story prompts comparisons of other mythologies- making it an ideal supplementary read for pupils learning about Greeks, Romans or Vikings.His children’s novel My Name is Mina (2010), a prequel to Skellig, was nominated for a 2012 Carnegie Medal. This was followed by The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas (2012) a children’s book illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, Mouse Bird Snake Wolf (2013) with illustrator Dave McKean, A Song for Ella Grey (2014) and The Tightrope Walker (2014), a novel for young adults, and The Colour of the Sun (2018). Wild and alive, this visually extravagant fable of the marvel, power and active nature of the creative process howls at the moon. That’s until Harry, Sue and little Ben begin to fill the gaps of the world: with a mousy thing, a chirpy thing and a twisty legless thing.

I liked little Ben best because he was very clever when they were making the wolf as he hid up the tree.Only Almond could so clearly show mystical and imaginative acts as physical, and in a story-telling voice that's musical, forward-moving and perfect in its surprises. David Almond's mythological story about children pitching in when the gods got lazy after creation, offers plenty for everyone, youngest to oldest, to discuss. But as the children's ideas grow bolder, the power of their visions proves greater and more dangerous than they, or the gods, could ever have imagined. In my opinion Mouse Bird Snake Wolf is a precious gift to the world – a quick read but one you will never forget. His first book, Sleepless Nights, a collection of short stories for adults, was published in 1985 and was followed in 1997 by a second volume, A Kind of Heaven.

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